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We are all Healers
by Paul Levy

Paul Levy
We are all healers. It was a big edge for me when I started referring to myself as a healer - like I stepped over a boundary. Part of it was having an image in my head of a healer being someone who puts their hands on someone to heal them. This certainly wasn't the type of healer that I was. Another preconception that I had about calling myself a healer was that I still saw the wounded part of myself. How could I call myself a healer if I myself wasn't healed?

Over the course of time, I've begun to notice that to the extent that I could put my own process, with all of my problems, on the side - stepping out of my “self,” so to speak - and really be there for the other person, something always seemed to happen that was beneficial. I would find myself empty in a way where I would enter the other person’s process completely, like I was entering their dream.

All this was done via an empathic imagination, where I would let myself feel into the other person’s situation. If I would be able to access the place in the collective consciousness where our two seemingly separate psyches were interconnected, I would literally be “touched.” This would initiate and activate certain processes in my psyche that were of similar resonance. This is called “shamanic tranference.”

If I would be able to fully participate in whatever was getting stirred up in me, while at the same time managing to not get absorbed in either my friend’s or my own process, which would be of no help, something useful could happen. If I would be able to self-reflect and creatively process and assimilate the energies that were getting triggered in me, the dreamfield that my friend and I were sharing literally would get transformed at the level of the collective unconscious. This is to “shamanize the field,” which could only support my friend’s process of healing (as well as my own, not to mention the entire universe)…

I also began to notice that almost everyone had a part of them, by the way they told their story, that was presenting it as problematic, which was clearly a reflection of this part of myself. I began to realize that if I agreed and bought into this point of view, I was actually reinforcing their very tightly held notion that they were someone with a problem, thereby supporting the very spell they were hoping to break.

I began to understand that to the extent that I wasn't becoming enchanted by my own wounded parts, I would not be entranced, so to speak, when the other person presented their own woundedness as being who they were. To the extent that I could relate to my own sense of wholeness, which is available right now as the spacious emptiness, which effortlessly embraces everything that arises, I could see the other person’s wholeness. Being like a dream, who were they, but a reflection of myself? Seeing this wholeness is not a fabrication, but seeing clearly the truth of our being. It is not being entranced by our Halloween costume that there is something the matter with us.

Being like a dream, I began to see that everyone who came into my office was a synchronistic reflection of a part of myself, in a way that seemed uncanny. To recognize the other person as an embodied reflection of a part of our own self is to awaken in the dream. This is the moment where the artificial boundary between self and other dissolves, spontaneously activating the energy of compassion. To the extent that we truly serve the seeming other, we literally heal ourselves, for at the true nature level we are not separate. I began to realize that everyone I met afforded me the opportunity to perpetuate my own judgement and ‘stuckness’, or step into my own inherent health and wholeness, and retrieve and embrace a long lost part of my soul. It all depended on what I chose to dream up.

The point is that we are all healers. We can all play this role for each other. At the level of the true nature state, where we are not separate, no one gets fully healed until we all do.

Paul Levy is an artist and healer in private practice, assisting others who are also spiritually awakening. A pioneer in the field of spiritual emergence, he is in the new book Saints and Madmen: Psychiatry Opens its Doors to Religion. He is the coordinator of the Portland PadmaSambhava Buddhist Center. He can be reached at (503) 234-6480.

For more articles about dreaming, see